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Here you are. Divorced. A single parent. Period.
It doesn’t matter how you got here. It doesn’t matter the pain you suffered or didn’t suffer, the pain you caused or didn’t cause. It is what it is and you are here, a single dad with a little person (or several little people) staring up at you, relying on you to be their dad. Thing is, you probably don’t have a clue as to what their expectations of you are. Heck, you probably don’t even know what your own expectations of you are yet. But here you are. And, you are about to be that super dad, or you are about to royally screw it up because there is no middle. And let me tell you… if you screw this up, it will haunt you in your grave, it will keep you up at night, it will follow you everywhere you go.
How do I know this? Because I’m a single dad too.
And so, my parenting education came from watching my dad, because children are the best mimickers of their parents.
I had no idea how to be a Single Dad. Everything I knew about being a Father I learned from my Dad, and he had a wife the whole time he was raising me. I knew how to mow the lawn (and I knew how to get my allergies to act up so my little brother had to mow the dusty back yard), but I didn’t know how to do laundry or house work or “girl” stuff. My father passed on some interesting lessons to me, and some of the lessons that you learn, you don't even know you're learning."My dad used to throw passes to me in front of a tree, and I ran into the tree constantly while catching those passes. When it came time for somebody to hit me, I never even thought about it, no way could they hit harder than a tree. Dad knew what he was doing, but I didn't know it then. The problem with it is, though, that he didn't know what he was doing, too, and I picked up a lot of those lessons, too. My problem though was that I was not only a Single Dad, but a Single Dad who had two girls. My gut reaction was that “girls” needed to be with their mom because she could teach them “girl” things. What did I know about raising females? I believe if I'd have had two boys, I might have just packed them up and moved to 1400 miles away to be back at home surrounded by Parents and Family. Which would have been wrong, but that's the way my mind was thinking. I just didn't know and was scared I would screw up. My kids would walk arounf burping and farting and scratching because that is what guys do.